A dental implant consists of a two-part dental restoration. The dental implant itself is a small, rod-shaped piece of titanium that mimics a natural tooth root. This rod is surgically implanted directly into your mouth, where the root of your missing tooth used to be. Then, over a period of time, it goes through the process of “osseointegration”, and becomes permanently attached to your gum and jaw tissue.
Once this heals, a dental crown, which looks just like your natural tooth, is attached to the implant to complete the procedure.
First, Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean will use x-rays and advanced imaging techniques to develop an implant strategy. Your mouth will be cleaned thoroughly and the treatment site will be numbed. Then, a small opening is made in your gum line, and the implant is inserted.
It usually takes 3-6 months for the post to heal. During this time, you’ll have a temporary crown to protect the post. Once your implant has healed, Dr. Yoni or Dr. Bean will create a dental crown to match your existing teeth perfectly. The crown will be attached permanently, using advanced dental adhesives, to complete the procedure. You’ll walk out of the office with brand-new, natural, and fully-functioning tooth.
After your dental implant has been placed, it will take about 3-6 months to heals and bonds completely with your surrounding gum tissue. This process is known as “osseointegration.” Once the implant has fully osseointegrated, it can be restored.
There are a number of different types of implant-supported restorations. Single-tooth restorations use one implant and one dental crown to replace a single tooth. However, multiple implants can also be used to support dental bridges and dentures.
The dental implant restoration process begins a few months after your implant has been placed. You’ll come into Green Leaf Dental for a consultation and we will take dental impressions and images of your teeth.
These will be sent to a third-party dental lab where your restoration will be made. After the initial restoration has been built, you’ll come into our office for a fitting. Depending on your restoration, you may need to come in for one or more follow-up appointments to ensure that it fits perfectly.
Once your implant has fully healed and your restoration is complete, you’ll come in for a final appointment. Dr. Bean will check the restoration one final time, then bond it in place permanently to complete the procedure and restore your smile.
While this process may vary a bit based on how many teeth you’re replacing, your oral health and your healing time post-surgery, this overview will help you understand the basics about what you can expect from the restoration process.
If you are missing one or more of your natural teeth, but you have a strong jaw and you do not have any serious oral health issues like gum disease, you are likely a good candidate for dental implants.
To get an implant, your jaw bone must be strong enough to accommodate the implant when it’s placed. After you lose a tooth, your natural jaw bone will deteriorate, because it’s no longer being stimulated by your tooth. Placing a dental implant prevents this, and strengthens your jaw. This is why you should get dental implants within 1 year of losing your tooth.
However, even if your jaw has become weak due to tooth loss and bone resorption, it may be possible to perform a bone graft or sinus lift to strengthen the implant site and allow an implant to be placed.
To find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, we recommend scheduling a consultation at Green Leaf Dental right away.
Dental implants typically last 30+ years, and most patients will keep their implants for the rest of their lives. This makes them the best long-term option for restoring your smile. It’s important to note, though, that dental implant restorations (like crowns, bridges, and dentures) usually do not last this long and will typically need to be replaced every 10-15 years. This replacement process is simple as long as the dental implant itself remains strong and healthy.
If you’re interested in a dental implant from Green Leaf Dental, get in touch with our team to schedule a consultation at (206) 316-2351, or drop by our office in Seattle at 4219 S Othello Street, #105-D&E, Seattle, WA 98118.